The legalization of marijuana is considered to be one of the most controversial but, at the same time, essential discussion topics nowadays. In the USA, it is considered less harmful compared to other types of relaxation. Thus, the popularity of this recreational drug increased and California became the first to legalize marijuana as a medical treatment in 1996. After that, the other 35 states did the same. However, Texas was not on the list of them (Jones et al. 2021). This caused many problems that remain unsolved and need to be handled with the right solutions. This essay is related to describing both the challenges and finding ways to solve them.
Description of the Problem
To begin with, it is worth making an overview of the topic of the work and clarifying the term marijuana. If to be exact, it is a mixture of different parts of the main ingredient, which is called Cannabis. Those parts of this plant, such as leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers, are the most active and consist of unique compounds called cannabinoids. They, in turn, can substantially affect the human body, including the nervous system (Tanco 2019). In addition, it is not a secret that marijuana is used as a treatment method against lots of complex diseases, such as cancer and epilepsy, as a painkiller, or for nausea and stress. As a matter of fact, it would be incorrect to use this description when talking about Texas, where this drug is prohibited. The illegal market of drug dealers does not stop its working till nowadays and continues competing with each other.
Another problem caused by the non-legalization of marijuana as a medical treatment is connected with opioids – the substances that can cause morphine-like effects. As mentioned before, California was allowed to use marijuana in medicine in 1996, and by doing it, it created an alternative to taking opioids. According to this new tendency, it became possible to study opioid trends in California and Texas, where marijuana was not legalized during the same period. In 2014 and 2018, California showed widespread opioid distribution, the same as the survey in Texas. Moreover, in 2014, California surpassed the statistics for using these substances compared to Texas. The point is that according to the survey, the most significant distributions of opioids in California decreased from 50 percent to 40 percent. This is a totally different comparison from the situation in Texas, which did not show a comparable decrease (Anyaehie 2021, 3). It is another piece of evidence why the problem of the legalization of marijuana in Texas should be solved rapidly. There is an opinion that marijuana is a popular reason for causing accidents on the roads according to the detection in victims of motor vehicle collisions, as well as alcohol. The data were analyzed to evaluate the trends in alcohol and marijuana in people who took part in the accidents and were guilty of them.
The researchers selected different locations in the USA, such as Arizona, California, Ohio, Oregon, and New Jersey, including Texas, in 2006 and 2018. All these places were chosen to compare the states’ results where marijuana was legal and was not. According to the survey, marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol was found in the highest percentage of people in Texas. In addition, alcohol popularity did not change simultaneously (Kruse 2021, 1). All of the facts highlighted above prove and show that the problem of the legalization of marijuana in Texas is huge and requires immediate measures to be taken in order not to allow get worse.
The Solution to The Problem
Before moving to the proposed solutions to the described problem of the legalization of marijuana in Texas, it would be excellent to summarize all the troubles. According to a recent survey on using opioids and marijuana conducted simultaneously in California and Texas. However, “California saw a decrease in overdose deaths after the legalization of marijuana in 2016 and 2018, whereas Texas experienced a rise in deaths by overdose in 2016 and 2017” (Anyaehie 2021, 9). To sum up, everything that was described earlier is the first problem related to the legalization of marijuana in Texas.
As concerns the next issue that is in desperate need of a solution, it might be good to mention that marijuana is widely used to treat cancer and epilepsy or as a method to deal with pain, nausea, or stress. That is why there was a poll conducted among people who suffered from the diseases mentioned above to clarify their attitude toward the legalization of marijuana across the United States of America (Tanco 2019). According to the survey, the majority of the patients support the usage of marijuana as a medical benefit. All the correspondents were from either states with legalized marijuana or non-legalized.
The third problem that requires to be solved as soon as possible is connected with the causes of accidents on American roads. The point is that it is generally believed that the effect of drugs is much more complex than the one people can receive from alcohol. However, according to another research conducted to define the percentage of victims of accidents that took marijuana, it seems to be not like this (Kruse 2021, 2). The survey showed that Texas was the place where victims had a higher percentage of drugs in the accident members’ blood. This is the last evidence of the fact that the problem with legalizing marijuana is of vital importance in Texas nowadays.
Talking about the first problem, it would be beneficial for Texas to legalize the usage of marijuana and provide access to Cannabis to balance the overdose of drugs. In that case, the more states know about the prescribed doses, the more significant decrease in overdosing and deaths would appear in the U.S. statics. Opioid and marijuana distribution should be under the government’s power and observation.
The following solution dwells upon the problem of using marijuana as a helpful feature against complex diseases such as cancer or epilepsy, as it was highlighted in detail before. It goes without saying that the government of the USA should satisfy Americans’ desires if it concerns their health. If to be more precise, the survey results proved that almost all of the respondents are for the legalization of marijuana for medical use (Tanco 2019). That is another reason that demonstrates that the decision to legalize marijuana is completely right and even required.
Talking about the third problem, it should be correct to mention the fact that the effect of alcohol mixed with drugs is much worse than the one of drugs alone. Those circumstances caused by alcohol sometimes could be terrible for drivers of motor vehicles. Moreover, according to the aforementioned survey, which was analyzed by Kruse and other authors and published in 2021, it becomes clear that the changes in American rules of using marijuana did not impact alcohol use. The situation is far not the same in Texas, where the results were different. The only way to solve this problem and to develop the situation on the roads is to legalize marijuana in this state.
The process of legalization of marijuana itself would not be easy and might seem to be quite long. Only if the government representatives do make the decision to act gradually would there be the right people’s perception of the new rules, and in that case, they would avoid possible misunderstandings. Primarily, it would be perfect for the government to decriminalize using of marijuana in those states where it is legally prohibited. To clarify this idea, it is worth explaining the meaning of the term “decriminalize,” which means stop regarding the actions that were banned as something illegal; here it is taking marijuana.
The next step, which is worth to be done after that, is to introduce the use of recreational marijuana in the states where it is prohibited, including Texas. Here it would be perfect to talk about the meaning before moving on. The word “recreational” comes from the term “recreation,” which means activities, the main purpose of which is enjoyment. The last stage of the legalization of marijuana is to enter using it as a medical treatment for dealing with different problems connected with human health. The most appropriate solution will be to obey this graduality which might provide a better future for the marijuana industry.
Having analyzed the results of the different surveys, polls, and articles’ authors’ opinions, it is acceptable to make the conclusion about the problem of legalization of marijuana in the USA. Firstly, it is worth saying that in the states where marijuana is legalized, it is used for medical and recreational purposes. Secondly, there are a lot of pieces of evidence that support the idea that the problem of marijuana usage in Texas is of vital importance nowadays and cannot be left without any attention.
Anyaehie, Michelle N., Christian Pardo, Elijah J Johnson, Chucks Anachebe, and Brian J.Piper. 2021. “Opioid Distribution Trends in California Post Recreational Marijuana Legalization.” Preprints, no, 1-14. doi: 10.20944/preprints202104.0466.v1
Jones, Mark, Ernest Crain, Morhea Lynn Davis, and Christopher Wlezein. 2021. Texas Politics Today. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Kruse, Michelle, Martin Perez, Melissa Blatt, Tania Zielonka, Mathew Dolich, Natasha Keric, Martin Schreiber, John Bini, Luke Hofmann, and Stephen M. Cohn. 2021. “Marijuana Legalization and Rates of Crashing Under the Influence of Tetrahydrocannabinol and Alcohol.” The American Surgeon 0(0): 1-3. doi:10.1177/0003134821995053
Tanco, Kimberson, Donato Dumlao, Rebecca Kreis, Kristy Nguyen, Seyedeh Dibaj, Diane Liu, Vidyasagargoud Marupakula, Ayesha Shaikh, Walter Baile, and Eduardo Bruera. 2019. “Attitudes and Beliefs About Medical Usefulness and Legalization of Marijuana among Cancer Patients in a Legalized and a Nonlegalized State.” Journal of Palliative Medicine 22(10): 1213-1220. doi:10.1089/jpm.2019.0218